Damian Lillard Named 2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year

As many expected through much of the season, Damian Lillard was named the 2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year earlier today.

Damian Lillard finished "Number One" in Rookie of the Year voting, after an impressive first season in Portland. (nba.si.com)

Damian Lillard finished “Number One” in Rookie of the Year voting, after an impressive first season in Portland. (nba.si.com)

Lillard who averaged 19.0 ppg, 6.5 apg, and 38.6 mpg in 82 games started (all of which ranked first among rookies for this season) helped the Portland Trail Blazers to a 33-49 record. Even though the Blazers failed to make the playoffs, they increased their win total from last season by five victories.

After a very strong Summer League performance, Lillard became this year’s front-runner for the honor after his very first game in the league; in Portland’s season opening 116-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Lillard recorded 23 points and a game-high 11 assists. Lillard was also 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.

From that impressive first showing and win, Lillard had a stranglehold on the award race and never let up. Lillard swept the Kia Rookie of the Month honors for the Western Conference for the Continue reading

Rookie Recap: New York Knicks’ Chris Copeland, Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Awarded Kia’s Rookies of the Month

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia's monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

Copeland joined Jamario Moon, Ivan Johnson, and Jeremy Lin as undrafted rookies to receive Kia’s monthly honor. (knicks.lohudblogs.com)

The two most outstanding rookies of April –and possibly the two biggest surprises of the 2012 NBA Draft –were awarded the Kia Rookie of the Month Award on Friday. The winners, Chris Copeland of the New York Knicks and Eastern Conference recipient and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Western Conference recipient, were by far the most dominant rookies of the month of April. Both players posted multiple career-highs during the month (Copeland for points and minutes played, and Lillard for points and blocks) and gained plenty of experience that should carry over into next season.

Copeland, an undrafted rookie from Colorado who’s traveled far and wide to make it to the NBA, was not expected to deliver much off the bench when the season began; however, due to a combination of timely shooting, injuries, and sudden retirements, Copeland has made his presence in New York felt, and should be a key contributor for the Knicks in their first-round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics. Continue reading